4th Test, Day 1: Australia 348/2 at stumps as clueless Indian bowlers disappoint

Live updates from the fifth and the final Test between India and Australia being played at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

Over 90 || Score 348/2

Australia dominated the first Day of the fourth and final Test, as at stumps they were at 348/2. After winning the toss, Australian skipper decided to bat first and their in-form openers gave them a solid 204-run stand for the first wicket. Destructive David Warner completed his third ton of the series, whereas ageing Chris Rogers missed his ton by mere five runs. Indian bowlers once again looked ordinary throughout the day and their sloppy fielding only added to their woes. India had a chance to make a comeback in the match, when both the openers perished in two consecutive overs. But the visitors missed to grab the opportunity as Smith (82) and Watson (61) went on to score fifties and stitched unbeaten 144 runs for the third wicket. Australia are right on top of the match after the end of Day One.       


Australia 1st innings

Over 87 || Score 330/2

Smith is not wasting any chance of scoring a boundary. And when Yadav bowls a shot and wide ball to the right-hander, he smacks it towards point region to collect his tenth boundary of the innings. As just three overs have left in the match, Australia might play a bit cautiously to avoid losing any further wickets.    

Over 83 || Score 323/2

Smith is collecting boundaries at regular intervals, to avoid the unnecessary pressure. It has been the trade mark of his batting style. India bowlers have failed to leave any impact in the match thus far, which has been dominated by the home side. We are towards the fag end of the first Day of the fourth Test, as only seven overs have left in the day.      

Over 80 || Score 317/2

Bhuvneshwar Kumar is back into the attack. But the prime Indian seam bowler isn't looking fully fit. His bowing run-up can tell you the story. In fact, few minutes back, in the sidelines he was struggling to even walk properly. Shane Watson completes his fifty by pulling Shami for a double, towards square leg. It will certainly give the senior batsman a big relief and a much needed confidence.          

Over 77 || Score 309/2    

Even after playing more than 80 balls, out of form, Shane Watson isn't looking comfortable in the middle. Ashwin is troubling him a lot. Meanwhile, the hosts have crossed the 300-run mark in the 75th over. Apart from Ashwin no other bowler is giving any threat to any of the batsmen in the middle. And in the 7th over, Watson-Smith completed the 100-run stand for the third wicket.          

Over 70 || Score 288/2

Smith completes his fifty. Australian skipper continues his prolific run with the bat and crosses the fifty-run mark in 69th by taking a single off R Ashwin. What a form he has been in. He has certainly enhanced his reputation as a Test batsman. He has been leading his team from the front, like a champion player and leader. Every time his team needed him in the series, he delivered. What a skipper he has been turning out for the Aussies.        

Over 65 || Score 261/2

In-form Australian Steven Smith is once again looking solid in the middle as he is quickly moved to 40 in no time. We are into the fourth and final Test of the series and Indian seamers are still finding it difficult to come out with a trick to get the wicket of Smith early in the innings. Meanwhile, the hosts have crossed the 250-run mark and are heading towards a big total in their first innings.  

Over 62 || Score 243/2

After the Tea break, Kohli gives the ball straight to his two best bowler in the match so far -- R Ashwin and Mohammed Shami. Indian seamers are once again looking hapless against the Australian batting line up -- no pace, no swing and seam movement. For Watson, who hasn't done any thing noteworthy in the series thus far has a good chance to get his lost form back, as there is nothing much for the fast bowlers in the wicket.     

Tea Break

Over 60 || Score 242/2

Bhuvenshwar Kumar, who is playing his first match of the series, has been brought back into the attack. Can he give India the third breakthrough? Time will tell. India should put more pressure on the new batsmen, especially Watson, who has been going through a bad patch, by setting up an attacking field. Kohli, known as an aggressive player, should show some aggressive moves in his field placements as well.  

Over 54 || Score 228/2

After a long spell, skipper Kohli finally gives Ashwin a break, as he throws the ball towards Suresh Raina. A good move, as the wicket is turning a bit. From the other end Umesh Yadav is on. But both the batsmen are looking good in the middle. The in-form Smith is playing his shots from the world go. So a positive start for both the batsman Watson and Smith.     

Over 48 || Score 211/2

Double breakthrough for India, as another opener Chris Rogers is out. Length ball by Shami, the southpaw gets an inside edge of his bat and the ball hits the stumps. Is India back into the match, with two wickets in quick successions? I think so. The new batsmen in the crease are skipper Steven Smith and Shane Watson. A wicket or two here can put immense pressure on the home side. Ashwin is bowling well from one end.      

CJL Rogers b Mohammed Shami 95 (189m 160b)

Over 45 || Score 200/1

Ashwin provided the first breakthrough to the visitors. Immediately after completing his third Test ton in the series, destructive opener David Warner lost his wicket. After pitching, the ball took a sharp turn and bounce and clueless Warner got the outside edge of his bat as Vijay took as simple catch at slip.        

DA Warner c Vijay b Ashwin 101 (182m 114b)


Till Lunch: Australia 123/0 

Openers Chris Rogers and David Warner struck fluent fifties to help Australia get off to a rollicking start as the hosts reached 123 for no loss at lunch on day one of the fourth and final cricket Test against India at the SCG.

Electing to bat on a good pitch in hot conditions, Rogers (52 not out) and Warner (63 not out) set the tone right from the very start and helped the Steven Smith-led side maintain a healthy scoring rate of 4.39 in the first session of play.

Both the batsmen combined the right dose of caution and aggression to once again make the Indian pace attack look ordinary. New-ball bowlers Bhuvneshwar Kumar (0-30) and Umesh Yadav (0-42) got the stick in the initial overs and Mohammed Shami's introduction also did not help matters for the Virat Kohli-led side.

Shami (0-31) though was unlucky in his second over when the medium-pacer got Rogers to edge the ball to Lokesh Rahul at second slip and the youngster spilled the chance. Rogers was on 19.

The left-handed batsman made full use of the life to notch his 10th Test fifty and his fifth in this series. But Warner it was who led the charge as the left-handed batsman scored at a strike rate of 85.13. The entertaining batsman got his 14th Test fifty in the 19th over of the innings.

The introduction of spin in the 14th over did help India check the scoring rate a bit as Ravichandran Ashwin (0-17) bowled well but Rogers and Warner stuck to their guns. At the end of the session, if Australia were left smiling then Kohli, standing in his first game as regular captain, after Mahendra Singh Dhoni's retirement, got a little taste of leading the Indian side.

After missing the first three Tests then, Kumar returned to open the attack for India. But sharing the new ball with Yadav, the duo was carted for runs in the first hour of play.
Warner and Rogers put on 39 runs in the first 5 overs, the scoring rate zooming past seven-an-over. Kumar conceded 20 runs in his first 3 overs while Yadav gave away 18 runs in the first 2 he bowled.

Shami though was better than the new-ball duo and nearly got Rogers back in the pavilion only to see Rahul drop the edge at second slip. Rogers rubbed salt on the injury by hitting a boundary off the very next delivery, bringing up the 50-run mark came up in the 8th over.

Runs kept flowing from both ends as Kohli tried different fielding combinations. But his bowlers lacked control to exert any sort of pressure on the batsmen as he had to introduce Ashwin.

The first hour of play saw Australia score 72 runs in just 13 overs, with only the spinner showing any semblance of control. Warner was the first to reach his half-century off only 45 balls. When he reached 63 not out later in the 27th over, he took off his gloves and helmet, and kissed the ground where his late team-mate Phillip Hughes had collapsed after being hit by a bouncer here in a Shield game in late November.

Rogers got to his fifty-run mark in 91 balls, with the 100-run stand coming earlier in the 20th over as India looked hapless in their first session of play in the post Mahendra Singh Dhoni era.

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